Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

Follow the World Health Organization's instructions to reduce your risk of infection:

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3/ Avoid close contact with anyone that has fever and cough.

Pulp Librarian+ Your Authors @PulpLibrarian Curator of the art, history and fiction of old dreams. Jun. 08, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

This tweet caught my eye today. It appears to show a popular meme expressing displeasure at the recent BLM march in London, but does it? The meme is crudely made which is unusual for memes. So where did it from?

I put on my best Nancy Drew hat and went to investigate...

A Google image search for the meme returns few results. But you can't use Google in such a basic way and expect to find what you're after: as any librarian knows you need to be methodical and logical when you research things...

First let's date the image. It's from the Sky News helicopter over Parliament Square on Saturday 6 June 2020, covering the BLM London march. The news flash shows 75 COVID-19 deaths were just announced in England: Sky News ran that story online at 16:36.

The clock in the image is obscured, but we can see it's 23 minutes past the hour. If the COVID news broke on Sky News TV a little before the Sky web story went up this would possibly place the TV image at 16:23pm on 6 June.

Now let's examine the image. Fortunately it's rather unique: it's a photography of an image on a TV screen, taken at a slight angle. It's therefore unlikely two people could have taken the photo at the same time from the same angle.

So let's track it down...

Google can track the same image to the Facebook page of UKIP Oldham Branch, posted at 16.43pm on 6 June. This is the earliest I can find it online and fits our assumed timeline.

But this is a different meme with a different message...

This meme 'FUCKTHENHS' then jumps to Twitter at 7.24pm that day, in a reply to an Alan Sugar tweet. The next day, at 9.44am, the same user replies to a Piers Morgan tweet with it. The user's Followers/Following details suggests they may be from the Bolton or Wigan area.

Then the 'FUCKTHENHS' meme trail goes cold. Instead the image resurfaces on Twitter with new text: "NHS Why do we bother?" The earliest I can find it is at 21:23 hours on 7 June.

Comparing the images it seems highly likely that the same original source image is used for both: "FUCKTHENHS" does not appear to have been photoshopped out of one image and replaced with "NHS Why do we bother?" Access to the original picture was probably needed.

So if you come across this meme online treat it with caution: don't assume it's from any kind of grassroots mass campaign. Social media is full of content without provenance... says the anonymous librarian!

Nancy Drew checking out...

You can follow @PulpLibrarian.


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